Seyi Olofinjana, who holds two master’s degrees, has inherited a club keen to bounce back from the humiliating lows of 2019 when it suffered relegation/Photo: Africans in Sports

Ex-Nigerian player named Technical Director of top Swiss club Zurich

Ex-Wolves and Nigeria midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana, has been named technical director at Switzerland’s most successful club Grasshopper Zurich.

The 40-year-old will oversee the football department at the newly-promoted Super League outfit and immediately find the right candidate to fill the ‘position of the head coach’ .

The former Stoke City, Hull City and Cardiff City player was snapped from English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he was worked in various roles.

“This an important role and I look forward to working together with the amazing people at Grasshopper to hopefully steer this massive club in the right direction,” Olofinjana told BBC Sport Africa, after beating off stiff competition from other top applicants.

“A club as decorated and influential as Grasshopper deserves stability and we need to find the right ways of restoring its lost football glory.”

Olofinjana, who holds two master’s degrees, has inherited a club keen to bounce back from the humiliating lows of 2019 when it suffered relegation from the Swiss top league for the first time in 68 years.

The Nigerian becomes the latest African to hold the technical director position in Europe after compatriot Michael Emenalo held similar roles at English side Chelsea and French club Monaco.

After two years in the Swiss Challenge League (second tier), the Hoppers sealed promotion last week and Olofinjana insists they are back where they truly belong.

“The history of the club and incredible fanbase clearly reflects a side that deserves better,” he added.

“It is our collective job to set this team in the right direction and among the elite clubs competing for success.”

Olofinjana started his career at Crown FC of Ogbomoso in his native Nigeria, before a stint with Kwara United led to a summer 2004 switch to Wolvesvia Norwegian club Brann Bergen.

He spent four years at Wolves before moving to Stoke City in July 2008 and after a season he joined rivals Hull City for £3m in August 2019.

Stints at Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesdayin England followed before ending his European career where it all began in Norway, this time with IK Start.

Olofinjana made over 50 appearances for Nigeria and represented the Super Eagles in three Africa Cup of Nations in 2004, 2008 and when they finished third in 2010.

Kola Tella

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